Since the New Year I have already achieved a great deal with the organisation of the UK breast cancer event in November 2011. There’s still a long way to go but there have certainly been strides made in the right direction. I also have a diary full of meetings and teleconferences with so many key people, organisations and charities. The biggest aspect for me now is to obtain the charity registration status so that we can claim gift-aid on donations but also so that people (thank you to those who have offered) will be able to host fundraising events and collect the monies via JustGiving and the like. There are also a number of exhibitors and sponsors who will of course need the charity registration number to comply with their internal requirements. I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to be told that we have to raise £5k in order for them to consider the application, thereby proving we can raise funds. It’s also terrifically disheartening to think that it is a small sum but that I can’t afford to donate this myself as it equates to nearly 3 months’ salary from my savings! However I do know the value of what I’m doing and the knowledge that this annual event can go on to help so many people by providing information, support and importantly community is something that I continue to believe in and strive toward. I’ve not spoken to one person who has been touched by cancer that doesn’t commend me in what I’m doing.
So, following a mailshot to family and friends last week, I was really rallied by the response. I have received donations small and large from all around the globe, totalling just over £1,000. Thank you to everyone who has chipped in and also for your encouragement and support – it means a great deal to me to know that you’re backing me and also backing the event. Thank you also to two of you who have set up monthly direct debits to contribute an amount each month – again a really big thank you. If you wish to make a financial donation this can be done online via the PayPal link on www.LivingBeyondDiagnosis.com or send a cheque to me, payable to ‘Living Beyond Diagnosis’.
I also requested in my mailshot some help with some skills and services. I will, for instance, need a printer who is able to produce marketing material for us, and administration help or event management expertise. There are many aspects and I know I can’t do it all, so if there are any willing hands or companies that are able to help with any aspect, I’d truly appreciate it.
Finally, I requested that my mailshot was forwarded to others who may be able to support the event, have access to corporate sponsorship, perhaps speak at the event, take an exhibitor stand etc etc. We are, of course, only 6 steps away from anyone, so perhaps someone you know may know someone else etc. Do talk about the event and direct people to the website for information. Again I know that the event is great.. after all the US conference for young women affected by breast cancer is now in its 11th year and each year they have more people wanting to attend than there are places. I just have to make the first event a success!
OK now for the not so good news. You will remember that I told you about the lovely Trish… she was the first person I found with the same rare cancer and who introduced me to the Facebook group… I remember thinking that I was no longer alone and I think I slept for the first time in ages just knowing that. Trish and I met at the US Conference in February last year and we’re booked up to meet this year in Orlando… I can’t wait. Trish is amazing and encouraging and positive and has always been the first person I’ve told when I have a wobble about finding a new lump or feeling a pain etc. She told me about a lump last week that she had found and today saw the doctor. They’ve found a 2cm tumour. Until it’s removed and tested they won’t know for certain if it’s a recurrence of Phyllodes but given the speed at which it’s grown, it is suspected. I so, hope they’re wrong.
It’s hit me though as we were diagnosed at the same time, both malignant phyllodes and both in the same breast and had the same surgery. Only difference was the malignancy and sadly, I won that prize for highest!
Hey ho, my next scan and check up is in two weeks and then I get to escape on a girls weekend to Venice with the lovely Millie. What a treat.